Virginia Common-wealth University in Qatar (VCU-Q) welcomed its Class of 2013 with 60 students to the Education City campus recently. With 85 percent, majority of the students are girls. The Class of 2013 has 37 Qatari students apart from 23 students from Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UK, and the US.
With increasing demand in design field, admission to VCU-Q has become more competitive every consecutive year. The incoming Class of 2013 represents highly qualified students who demonstrated strong academic skills, English language competency and background in art that suggests the potential to succeed as promising designers.
“There has never been a more interesting - or important - time to study the visual arts,” said Peter C Chomowicz, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in his welcome speach. “Designers of all types are rapidly becoming an indispensable link that unites different disciplines in order to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. I also believe that Qatar is uniquely positioned to give our students and graduates the ability to perform on the world stage,” he added.
The welcome given by faculty and administration marked the conclusion of an exciting week of orientation activities, where both students and parents were informed about the challenges and struggles involved in earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in design. Beginning last Sunday with Family Night, the activities organized by Student Activities Coordinator, Hissa Al Garni, included a cross cultural awareness session, scavenger hunt, debate, art foundation activity and sprinkle time where students mingled with and got to know each other. Students also enjoyed trips to Café Ceramique at the Mall, a movie night at City Center and dinner with the faculty at Souq Waqif.
“The orientation was experimental and interactive. We learned about the university, it was useful. Personally, I loved it. I will always remember these days. This motivated me to volunteer for next year’s orientation,” said freshman Fahad Al Kuwari.
“It was fun, a bit tiring, but that will help us survive the upcoming long days,” said Reem Al Darwish, another freshman, of the previous week’s activities. “It was very informative. The fashion show was fun and so were the leaders,” she added.
Sheikha Al Sowaidi echoed most of the students’ sentiments when she remarked that the experience was positive and “helped us with the upcoming weeks of hard work”.
“The class of 2013 is full of enthusiasm and new energy,” said Al Garni. “This is the biggest class we’ve had to date and it was challenging for us as well to organise a week of activities for them that would be interesting and fun-filled while also preparing them for the year ahead at VCUQatar.” Al Garni was also thanked the 20 student leaders - some of whom started working on the orientation during the summer – for their volunteer work during the week-long sessions.
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